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How To Set The Cleaning Fee For Your Short-term Vacation Rental

Updated: Feb 1

There have been a lot of talks recently about what is considered a fair cleaning fee and what cleaning tasks are reasonable for the guest to do before checking out of a short-term vacation rental property. This article will discuss things to consider when you set your cleaning fee and what sorts of cleaning tasks we, as a cleaning company, think your guests should do before our housekeeper arrives.

What is a cleaning fee?

Hosts have the option of charging a cleaning fee to guests for their stays. This is a one-time, flat-rate cleaning fee per stay. Most hosts will just charge the guest whatever they have to pay a cleaning service to do the job. That's also what we would recommend.

What's the average cleaning fee for a vacation rental?

The average cleaning fee for a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home in the San Francisco Bay area is $150-$250 per stay. This can vary depending on the type of home, if pets are allowed, and the number of guests the home can accommodate. The cleaning fee will also depend on the cleaning service being used - whether that service is an independent contractor, service company, or is the owner of the property.

Use our Cleaning Calculator to see what you should charge for your Airbnb cleaning fee.

Why do guests prefer a flat-rate cleaning fee?

Price certainty is really helpful when budgeting for a vacation. It also allows for more transparency in a booking. Most booking sites require that cleaning fees, pet fees, etc are disclosed up front and a flat rate.

What should I charge for cleaning?

First, put together a list of things that need to be cleaned in order for your property to be ready for the next guest. Then, find a cleaning service that can do all those things. Pass along their service fee to your guests.

Suggested Article: How To Choose The Right Cleaning Company

What should I do if I need to charge more for cleaning because a guest was really messy?

It happens. Some guests are just really messy. Some guests won't do any cleaning before they checkout. Your cleaning service may arrive and tell you that they have to charge extra because there is more to clean.

Most vacation rental sites ask that listings show a flat fee for cleaning. It would take some additional communication with your guest to agree that an additional cleaning fee may be added if the home is extra dirty. Most booking sites recommend putting this information in the listing and even communicating this policy to the guest before the booking is confirmed.